Designer Handbags

You can always count on Caroline Issa to be one of the most classically chic women on the street and in the front row, and you can always count on her for a precise yet spirited runway recap.

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Caroline Issa image by Kristin Yamada

So that’s exactly what we did: we counted on her. Our ace street-style shooter, Kristin Yamada, caught her at the show—wearing the Nordstrom Signature pintuck floral-print dress she helped design—and then we got her download on what was inside.

CAROLINE TELLS ALL: READ MORE

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If there’s one thing Rebecca Minkoff knows, it’s handbags. If there’s another, it’s New York City.

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Rebecca Minkoff Sofia crossbody bag

The Brooklyn-based designer shows her ready-to-wear and accessories collection today outside, in front of her SoHo boutique; the audience will be half industry, half whoever is lucky enough to get there and snag a seat. To make the most of her love of fashion and Gotham City, we asked her to pick a current-season Rebecca Minkoff bag to go with each of her favorite neighborhoods.

CLICK TO SEE WHAT NEIGHBORHOOD IS RIGHT FOR THIS TASSLED BEAUTY

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Jeffrey Kalinsky has been thinking about the future. In fact, he’s almost always thinking about the future—whether that means next season’s outsized silhouettes and gauzy layers, or, you know, that not-so-distant place where we commute to work via space bubble and beam friends into our living room using hologram technology.

Indeed: our VP Fashion Director’s preferred vision of what’s to come is very similar to what the beloved animation studio Hanna-Barbera and the Finnish-American architect Eero Saarinen pictured back in the mid-60s.

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J.W.ANDERSON, from our Fall Designer Collections lookbook

My future looks like The Jetsons, and it looks like the original TWA terminal at JFK Airport,” says Kalinsky, referring to that Jet Age monument of wing-shaped shells and curvilinear ceramic. “You get in your flying saucer and go to the grocery store. Everything is easy and happy.”

In imagining how he might line up the near future—fall ’16—with that smooth, glossy, ultra-efficient, zero-waste ideal and present them together in a fashion guidebook, he turned once again to Snarkitecture. We first teamed up with the in-demand, of-the-moment Brooklyn-based collaborative design practice last season; their 5,000-pound cave-like structure served as a bridge between art, architecture and the best spring looks from Gucci, Valentino, Simone Rocha and more.

KEEP READING FOR BEHIND-THE-SCENES INSIGHT

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The earrings, the coats, the pink tweed, the grassy greens. The slinky dresses, the bold silver jewels. The slouchy trousers, the gowns. The shoes!

And not just the ones on the runway, either—the crowd at Designer Preview always brings their own parade (just check out that front row below)—and this past Thursday night on the Seattle waterfront was an ultra-inspiring mix of what’s hot now, what’s hot on the horizon and what’s just hot no matter the season.

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The Missoni scene in Thursday night’s Designer Preview runway show. 

Missed it? Loved it and just want to relive it? Our 50-image lookbook detailing everything from the start of the party to the trunk show the next day is just the eye candy you need.

CLICK IN TO SEE EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENED IN THESE GORGEOUS IMAGES

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The first rule: Buyers know best.

The second rule: See the first rule.

When it comes time to shop our yearly Anniversary Saleand in case you missed the alerts: it’s time!—it just makes good sense to check in with the men and women who curate our top designer merchandise. They strategize these steals and deals with you in mind, and we do mean strategize; read on to find out what iconic Alexander Wang handbag was reinstated specifically for us, and for you.

OK, ready? Let’s do this—from the ground up.

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Alexander Wang’s Kenze boot: $484.90 during our Anniversary Sale, $725 after sale

Says our designer shoe buyer John Langston of Alexander Wang‘s Kenze boots: “They have all the elements of fall’s best trends and they’re so identifiably Wang! They personify Alex’s spirit of individuality and the playful, romantic poet.”

How to wear them? Glad you asked. “This season, short boots act as a new alternative go-to option,” says John. “Skip the pumps and pair these with a myriad of looks—from a cropped carrot pant to an ankle-length straight-leg denim jean or a sleek pencil skirt.”

GET MORE ANNIVERSARY PICKS FROM THOSE WHO KNOW BEST

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With just over two weeks to go before Designer Preview on July 28 in Seattle, we’re all getting pretty serious about that question hanging in the air: “What should we wear?” After visiting with SPACE ambassador Shawn Serven last week at our Seattle flagship, the ready-to-wear part of the equation is likely shaping up quite nicely.

But what to do about the crucial handbag element?

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All about the embroidery embellishment: Gucci on-point

We recently revisited Shawn for a trip through the designer handbag offerings, where it became clear that there are three major trends to consider: color, size and embellishment.

LET’S GET CARRIED AWAY

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The word of the day, thanks to Loewe, is marquetry: “decorative work in which elaborate patterns are formed by the insertion of pieces of material (as wood, shell or ivory) into a wood veneer that is then applied to a surface (as of a piece of furniture).”

That’s the official Merriam-Webster rundown. And here’s what happens when the ancient technique is redefined by the brand’s creative director, Jonathan Anderson.

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In conjunction with the recent Salone del Mobile furniture fair in Milan, a new mini collection of crossbody bags that includes the vibrant four-legged friend style shown here borrows the craft’s basic tenets, using leather inlays to adapt patterns taken from archival silk prints and centuries-old Japanese wooden screens.

WATCH LOEWE’S GIF TO SEE HOW IT’S DONE

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From outside our flagship store, in the South-facing picture window, a shimmery wall of gold-toned cutouts frame a new-season Louis Vuitton showpiece. Around the corner, CHANEL mannequins in airline chic (remember that show?) allow for just a peek through the glass to the handbags and accessories inside.

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Downtown Seattle Nordstrom 

Inside, near the Beauty department, a striking image of Swedish actress Alicia Vikander carting one of this season’s hot Louis Vuitton Twist bags reaches almost as high as the ceiling. And down the way, the shop of iconic Gucci handbags is as vivid and alluring as the brand’s super-popular campaign images. And then there’s the ascent up the escalators: upon one’s arrival on the second floor, a studio of CHANEL apparel calls to mind the legend of Coco’s Paris apartment, while cool-girl looks at the Saint Laurent hideout coax an approachable nightclub vibe.

In short, with the addition of nine brand-new shop-in-shop boutiques, the in-progress remodel at our downtown Seattle flagship has lately yielded a gorgeous and inspiring trip down a high-style European avenue. May we offer you a guided tour?

CLICK INTO OUR VIRTUAL TOUR AND EXPLORE OUR LOOKBOOK

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MCM‘s new school is brassier and studlier, hanging perfectly off the shoulders of The (charmed) Youths, street-style icons and everyone in between. But the highly ‘grammable logo—developed at the height of Munich’s ’70s creative renaissance—hasn’t veered too far off course since the Cognac Visetos pattern became the famed Cognac Visetos pattern.

Until now.

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Enter Tobias Rehberger: former punk kid, award-winning German multimedia artist and master of reimagining familiar spaces and forms into sculptural installations that often defy categorization.

CROSS THE LINE WITH TOBIAS

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“They’re perfect for what’s happening in fashion and art and architecture—this great kind of melting of all things,” Jeffrey Kalinsky told me this past November on a crazily warm New York day.

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All photos by Laura Cassidy

He was talking about Snarkitecture,  the of-the-moment, in-the-mix design practice headed by artist Daniel Arsham and architect Alex Mustonen. Harnessing the trend for mixing the chicest ready-to-wear with the best built environments, our VP Fashion Director set out to collaborate with the best and commissioned the Brooklyn-based crew to create a backdrop (only part of it is seen here) on which to shoot his favorite looks from Valentino, Gucci, Simone Rocha and more on China-born model Fei Fei Sun for our new season Designer Collections lookbook.

We were there at New York’s Pier 59 Studios, and we’d love to take you behind the scenes.

GET A CLOSE-UP ON THE SET AND THE STYLES

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